The BRAD BLOG https://bradblog.com Because it's not about Right or Left, it's about Right and Wrong! Sat, 18 Jan 2020 03:04:30 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.2 en On Bernie's 'Electability': 'BradCast' 1/17/2020 https://bradblog.com/?p=13271 https://bradblog.com/?p=13271#comments Sat, 18 Jan 2020 02:45:26 +0000 Brad Friedman Fox 'News' California BRAD BLOG Pennsylvania Voting System Certification BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Wisconsin Touch-Screen DREs/BMDs Impeachment Mainstream Media Failure Democrats Republicans Michigan Joe Biden Los Angeles KPFK Donald Trump Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Election 2016 BradCast Kevin McCarthy Election 2020 Ken Starr Pete Buttigieg VSAP https://bradblog.com/?p=13271 Is Bernie "unelectable" as many well-paid pundits and columnists have argued? We take an evidence based approach to that question on today's BradCast. [Audio link to full show is posted below.]

But first, with the end of the Public Comment period for certification of Los Angeles County's $300,000,000 boondoggle of a new, 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting system coming to a close next Monday, Jan 20th (Martin Luther King Day holiday!) at 5pm PT, it's great to see Libby Denkmann's comprehensive piece at LAist, on the potential nightmares for L.A. voters in the making. Her piece is headlined "LA's New Voting System Is Still Uncertified. Why Election Security Experts Are Worried". She picks up on many of the points we highlighted when we broke the story earlier in the week of more than 40 violations of California Voting System Standards discovered by the independent testing team hired by the CA Sec. of State during the certification process.

We also follow up on Denkmann's scoop from earlier in the week, regarding the Beverly Hills City Council's recent vote to explore a lawsuit against Los Angeles County because the new, unverifiable touchscreen voting system forces voters to notice a "MORE" button if they wish to see more than the first four candidates listed on the ballot in any particular race. That button is right next to the "NEXT" button that would take voters to the next race without seeing all of the candidates in the current race. A listener writes in with a couple of solutions to that huge design flaw on these incredibly expensive "electric pens" that L.A. is investing in, instead of a much cheaper, much more secure and reliable, overseeable HAND-MARKED paper ballot system.

Then, with many in the pundit class helpfully informing us that candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are just too progressive to be elected in the 2020 general election (many of these same pundits also told us Donald Trump could never be elected, by the way), we take an evidence-based look at those claims.

The question, however, begins with dismantling the notion that pack journalism and "conventional wisdom" on such matters should be trusted. For example, conventional wisdom tells us that members of the active-duty military will be big supporters of Trump's again this year. Actual evidence, such as the annual opinion poll of active-duty subscribers to Military Times, reveals a very different set of data than that presented by much of the media. That poll, taken at the end of last year, finds that half of respondents view Trump unfavorably, with 45% viewing him "VERY unfavorably". His overall ratings have dropped dramatically since the military publication's first annual poll in 2016. Moreover a plurality back impeachment for their Commander-in-Chief! (And today's Washington Post story on Trump railing at his Generals as "a bunch of dopes and babies" probably won't help him much either.)

In fact, as we discuss with our guest, historian, author and election fraud investigator RICHARD HAYES PHILLIPS, nobody really knows anything. At least when it comes to the paid pundits substituting their opinions for actual facts. Phillips published a fact-based analysis of the questions regarding Sanders electability at The BRAD BLOG on Friday, based on known raw numbers from the 2016 primary (with a particular eye on the "Blue Wall" states of WI, MN, PA, MI, IA and OH) and what can be gleaned from opinion polls today.

While avoiding punditry and predictions, Phillips' findings --- at least based on what we know at this time --- suggest that Sanders is, indeed, electable. Whether he would still be by the time Republicans got finished with him, or whether he is more electable than someone like Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren, remains unknown no matter what the TV talking heads tell you. "Take your pick," he tells me when I ask whether his analysis today will hold up even after Trump and the GOP media turn their fire on Sanders if we wins the Democratic nomination. "Which three words do you want to hear Donald Trump say over and over again in the same sentence 10,000 times? Do you want to hear 'Biden Ukraine corrupt'? Do you want to hear 'Bernie crazy socialist'? Do you want to hear 'Pocahontas crazy socialist'? I don't even want to think about what he would say about Pete Buttigieg. I'm not going to go there."

Noting that his work "is based upon numbers and not opinions," he suggests voters should vote for who they like in the primary and forget about "electability", before adding his key takeaway: "The lesson to this is that the most important thing that Democrats can do is to unite behind the winner and not split the opposition. Trump's best scenario is a 3rd party candidate on the Left siphoning enough votes from whoever wins the Democratic nomination to throw the election to Trump."

Phillips argues: "My advice is that Democrats should not be afraid of a spirited primary contest between two or more viable candidates. What they need to do, as recent polling data also reveal, is united behind the ultimate winner. You can't just take your ball and go home and mope because your candidate didn't get the nomination. That's what Trump wants you to do."

It is certainly true that Republicans will say anything, do anything, to win the general election against whichever Democratic candidate ends up winning the nomination. We close with one amazingly audacious recent clip from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Fox "News" that underscores precisely that point...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
[See post to listen to audio]

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]]> https://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=13271 A Statistical Response to the Charge That Bernie Sanders is 'Unelectable' https://bradblog.com/?p=13270 https://bradblog.com/?p=13270#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2020 17:35:23 +0000 Richard Hayes Phillips, Ph.D. Ohio Florida North Carolina Pennsylvania Iowa Wisconsin Hillary Clinton Michigan Joe Biden Bernie Sanders Election 2016 Election 2020 https://bradblog.com/?p=13270 "They wanted substantive change and were willing to burn it all down to get it." These words, from a neighbor in the rural north country of New York, describe the thinking of some who voted for Donald Trump. Some of these same voters had supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary (more on that below).

Four years later, some have suggested we should shy away from Sanders, on the grounds that he cannot beat Trump. Election statistics, however, as well as current polling, reveal that he would, in fact, be a viable candidate. This is not the same thing as saying he will win. But, based on actual existing hard numbers that we can examine, he is certainly not "unelectable" as some critics have charged.

Bernie Sanders, having run for President in 2016, is the only Democratic candidate with a recent track record in presidential politics that can be used as a yardstick, unlike several of the other current front-runners such as Elizabeth Warren or Pete Buttigieg. So, let's look at what the raw numbers tell us about Sanders' electability against Trump, bearing in mind that this all could change when full-throated attacks are unleashed against him, as they inevitably will be against whoever wins the Democratic nomination...

Firstly, Dave Leip's US Election Atlas website recorded what we need to know about the 2016 electorate. To begin with, if you add up the vote totals in the 2016 primaries and caucuses, Sanders received more votes, overall, than Trump during that cycle.

Sanders: 13,243,376 (primaries) + 460,030 (caucuses) = 13,703,406 (total votes)
Trump: 13,310,471 (primaries) + 252,773 (caucuses) = 13,563,244 (total votes)

To be sure, in most of these primaries Trump was running against a larger field (although by Super Tuesday at the beginning of March, the Republican field was down to five candidates); and four states (Kentucky, Nebraska, Idaho and Washington) held a primary in one party and a caucus in the other. So the comparison is inexact, but it is informative. The total votes, by party, in primaries and caucuses, were as follows:

Democratic: 30,895,719 + 740,055 = 31,635,774 (Sanders received 43.32%)
Republican: 29,646,417 + 934,141 = 30,580,558 (Trump received 44.35%)

It is fair to say that Sanders and Trump were the first choices of an almost equal number of their respective party primary voters during the 2016 cycle.

Secondly, look at the states that Sanders won: much of the "Blue Wall" (Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota), most of the Great Plains (Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota), most of the Interior West (Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming), and the "red states" of West Virginia, Indiana, and Alaska (plus four New England states and three Pacific states).

No, Sanders is no more likely to win reliably red states just because he defeated Hillary Clinton in primaries there than he would be to lose reliably blue states in a general election just because he lost primaries there. But his strength in the "Blue Wall" is crucial, because that is where the 2020 election is likely to be decided. And his relative strength over Clinton in red states is important, because it might help get some Democrats elected to Congress and other state or local offices.

Thirdly, look at the counties that Sanders won in 2016. (Click on the desired state on Dave Leip's maps, and compare the Democratic primaries to the general election). Begin with the battleground states that Clinton lost to Trump.

  • PA: Sanders carried thirty rural counties. Clinton carried one of these against Trump.
  • OH: Sanders carried sixteen rural counties. Clinton carried one of these against Trump.
  • MI: Sanders won the state, carrying 73 of 83 counties. Clinton carried five of these against Trump.
  • WI: Sanders won the state, carrying 71 of 72 counties (all except Milwaukee). Clinton carried eleven of these against Trump.
  • IA: Sanders lost the state by a mere 355 votes, carrying 37 of 99 counties (four were draws). Clinton carried five of these against Trump.
  • NC: Sanders carried eighteen counties, fifteen of them in the Appalachian Mountains. Clinton carried three of these against Trump.
  • FL: Sanders carried nine rural counties, all in north Florida. Clinton carried none of these against Trump.

I am not suggesting that Sanders would carry all these rural counties against Trump. I am saying that the available evidence suggests he would almost certainly do better in these counties than Clinton did. In the general election, it is the "Blue Wall" (PA, OH, MI, WI, MN and IA) where this matters. It would be more difficult for Trump to run up the huge margins in rural counties that he would need to overcome the Democratic strength in urban areas.

Fourthly, I am not convinced that the vote counts in the Democratic primaries were everywhere true and correct. I examined the official results and the exit polls in great detail in 2016, and called for inspection of the actual ballots [PDF], because of large disparities between exit polls and official results in black communities, especially in six southern states on Super Tuesday, and between absentee ballots and Election Day results in three Midwestern states in later primaries.

Fifthly, the Real Clear Politics (RCP) polling averages for nationwide head-to-head general election matchups as of this posting show that both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are electable. As of mid-January, Biden was leading Trump by 4 points (48.2% to 44.2%), and Sanders was leading Trump by 2.6 points (48% to 45%).

And these polling averages include an obvious outlier --- a USA Today poll that shows Biden losing to Trump by 3 points (41% to 44%), and Sanders losing to Trump by 5 points (39% to 44%). The reason why Biden and Sanders performed so poorly in that USA Today poll is because it included "an unnamed third party candidate" who "received between 11% and 15% in the head-to-head contests." This suggests that Trump's best scenario would be if a third party candidate siphons enough votes from the Democratic candidate to throw the election.

The RCP polling averages for battleground states show that Biden would be more difficult to beat than Sanders. As of mid-January, Biden had a lead of 6.5% points, or more in enough states to win the electoral college. This, of course, is the most important metric. The same polls show that Sanders is also electable, though less so, with a lead of 2.5% or more in enough states to win.

Lastly, allow me to emphasize why candidates "tack to the center" in general elections. Luring one voter away from your major party rival equals a net gain of two votes (they lose that one vote, and you pick it up), and is therefore twice as valuable as luring one voter who would otherwise vote for a third party candidate or not vote at all. Turning out your base is very important, but so is chipping away at your opponent's strength.

Sanders has demonstrated that he does not have to "tack to the center" in order to do this. He won those rural counties while running to the left of Hillary Clinton. How many were voting against Clinton more than they were voting for Sanders we do not know. But the fact remains that the counties Sanders carried against Clinton are, by and large, the same ones the Republicans are counting on to get Trump reelected.

In fact, an actual poll of 64,600 respondents, all of whom voted in both the primary and the general election, found that 12% of the very same people who voted for Sanders in the primary voted for Trump in the general election. The data show that Clinton's inability to win over these Sanders voters may have been decisive in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

This would amount to more than 1.6 million voters nationwide, or 1.2% of the popular vote, which Hillary Clinton won by 2.1%. Trump might not be able to hold these voters if Sanders wins the Democratic nomination. This could alter the margin between the candidates by 2.4% and provide a 4.5% margin of victory for Sanders, which is very much in line with the head-to-head polling average reported by RCP.

The point of this article is not to predict the future, which none of us can do. Rather, it is to show, based upon hard data, that --- despite rhetoric from various talking heads and advocates --- Democrats do have a real choice in the primaries. Those whose only concern is defeating Donald Trump may rally around Joe Biden, and those who are seeking substantive change may rally around Bernie Sanders.

Current polling suggests that other Democratic candidates would be electable as well. Democrats should not be afraid of a spirited primary contest between two or more viable candidates. What they need to do, as recent polling data also reveal, is unite behind the ultimate winner.

* * *

Richard Hayes Phillips is a published historian and genealogist whose books, Without Indentures, Birth and Shipping Records, and The Search for Survivors, are available in paperback from Genealogical Publishing Company, and in hardbound archival editions are available directly from the author for the same price as the paperbacks. He is also an election fraud investigator whose unprecedented forensic probe of the 2004 Presidential election in Ohio is documented in Witness to a Crime: A Citizens' Audit of an American Election. Signed hardcover copies are also directly available from the author.


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BLOCKBUSTERS: Parnas Sings, Impeachment Trial Begins, L.A. Faces Suit Over New Voting System: 'BradCast' 1/16/2020 https://bradblog.com/?p=13269 https://bradblog.com/?p=13269#comments Fri, 17 Jan 2020 02:23:05 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities California BRAD BLOG Election Reform Voting System Certification BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Touch-Screen DREs/BMDs Impeachment John Bolton Accountability GAO U.S. Senate Rudolph Giuliani Los Angeles KPFK Donald Trump Climate change BradCast Ukraine John Roberts Adam Schiff Mike Pence Election 2020 William Barr Dean Logan Lev Parnas VSAP https://bradblog.com/?p=13269 Really just blockbusters and bombshells from top to bottom on today's BradCast. From historic impeachment proceedings to game-changing disclosures to potentially big legal trouble for L.A.'s imperiled new touchscreen voting system. [Link to complete show is posted below summary.]

First up, the historic Impeach Trial of Donald John Trump got officially under way in the U.S. Senate today, with a solemn oath-taking ceremony administered by Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court John Roberts who will preside over the trial that could determine whether Trump remains President of the United States.

But before we even got there on Thursday, the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) came out with its finding that the Trump Administration did, indeed, violate federal law last year when it withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine as appropriated by a bipartisan vote of Congress. "Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law," the decision says, finding that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) "withheld funds for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act." That matter is at the heart of Trump's impeachment.

But before the GAO findings were released on Thursday morning, or Senators could take their oath to do "impartial justice" as jurors on Thursday afternoon as the impeachment trial began, Rachel Maddow's Wednesday night blockbuster interview on MSNBC with Lev Parnas, the Soviet-born right-hand man to Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, shook up just about everything and everybody. Parnas, facing charges of campaign finance violations, sung --- and sung like crazy. On everybody. "Everybody was in the loop," he said.

He claimed Donald Trump knew from the jump about the scheme to strong-arm Ukraine to announce an investigation of Joe Biden to help his 2020 reelection bid. So did Vice President Mike Pence, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Congressman Devin Nunes and even Attorney General William Barr. We share a few clips from Maddow's jaw-dropping scoop of an interview --- with a recommendation that you go check out the whole thing (which is set to have a Part 2 on Thursday night), before we move on to a few blockbusters and bombshells closer to home out here on the west coast.

Earlier in the week, we broke exclusive details on the pending certification of a brand-new, $300,000,000 unverifiable touchscreen voting system set for first time use in Los Angeles County --- the nation's largest --- in this year's March 3rd Super Tuesday primary elections. As we reported, independent testers hired by the Sec. of State's office to carry out certification testing of the new systems discovered more than 40 violations of California Voting System Standards as the Public Comment period for certification of the County's "Voting Solutions for All People" or VSAP system ends this coming Monday. Given the enormous problems with the system set for use in the critical 2020 Presidential election, we have been urging voters to send public comments seeking a HAND-MARK paper ballot system instead of the failed, unverifiable new touchscreen systems, to the Sec. of State at VotingSystems@sos.ca.gov.

All the while, L.A. County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk Dean Logan has refused, for months, to respond to our serious questions about the systems or appear on the show. Well, we've got some new news today on all of that, including a potential lawsuit by the City of Beverly Hills, whose City Council, according to LAist's Libby Denkmann, has voted to approve a suit after discovering the effects of a serious design flaw in the system. The new VSAP tablets only display four candidates per race, before a voter must select a "MORE" button to be taken to a second page. That "MORE" button is right next to the "NEXT" button on the tablet voting system. And that "NEXT" button, takes voters to the next race on the ballot without voters ever even seeing the additional candidates in the race. This is a very serious flaw that is likely to cause havoc for candidates whose random positions on the ballot come as Number 5 or higher in any given race, including in the upcoming Presidential primaries. (If I'm Dean Logan today, I am praying that Bernie Sanders doesn't draw the fifth or later position on the March 3rd Democratic ballot!)

That matter is just one of several that Logan has either refused to speak to or has mislead on when I questioned him, or tried to, as I detail on today's program. But, given the noise we've caused over the past several days with this on The BradCast, Logan finally deigned to offer a Twittered response, excoriating our coverage of the certification testing failures. We share his misleading response in full on today's program, along with a number of the serious points that he either failed to respond to at all, or is attempting to mislead the public about in his tweeted answers. (For example, the fact that after a computer-marked ballot has been supposedly "verified" by the voter, it is sent back through the same printer path where it could be changed by the system with no way for the voter to ever know.)

Finally today, as if that's not enough blockbusters for you, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with our special coverage of Tuesday night's 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate in Des Moines, the last one before voting begins next month, and one in which our climate crisis, at long last, was front and center throughout much of the forum, happily enough...

Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
[See post to listen to audio]

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]]> https://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=13269 'Green News Report' - January 16, 2020 https://bradblog.com/?p=13268 https://bradblog.com/?p=13268#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2020 19:24:33 +0000 Desi Doyen Iowa Environment Democrats Joe Biden Green News Fracking Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Natural gas Coal Oil Climate change Agriculture Amy Klobuchar Election 2020 Tom Steyer Infrastructure Carbon Tax Pete Buttigieg https://bradblog.com/?p=13268

IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: GNR Special Coverage: Climate change pervades the final Democratic presidential primary debate before 2020 voting begins... That and more in today's Green News Report!

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO HELP US WITH A (MUCH-NEEDED) DONATION to celebrate 1000+ episodes of independent, listener-supported climate, energy and environmental news! Thank you!
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Got comments, tips, love letters, hate mail? Drop us a line at GreenNews@BradBlog.com or right here at the comments link below. All GNRs are always archived at GreenNews.BradBlog.com.

IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 2019 was the second-hottest year ever, closing out the warmest decade; Germany to drop coal, nuclear power in landmark energy deal; Dead birds washing up by the thousands send a warning about climate change; Florida plans to buy, protect Everglades land targeted for oil drilling; Racist housing policies in US linked to deadly heatwave exposure; World’s biggest long-term risks are environmental, WEF Says... PLUS: Oil's slick rebranding is more like disinformation... and much, MUCH more! ...

STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page


FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
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    Special Coverage: Dems Debate in IA; Impeach-ment Transmitted, New Evidence Revealed: 'BradCast' 1/15/2020 https://bradblog.com/?p=13267 https://bradblog.com/?p=13267#comments Thu, 16 Jan 2020 01:27:31 +0000 Brad Friedman Iraq War Iowa BRAD BLOG Media Appearance DNC Iran Impeachment Accountability U.S. House U.S. Senate Rudolph Giuliani Joe Biden Jerrold Nadler Nancy Pelosi KPFK Donald Trump Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren BradCast Ukraine Adam Schiff Amy Klobuchar Election 2020 Tom Steyer Pete Buttigieg Lev Parnas Marie Yovanovitch Robert H. Hyde https://bradblog.com/?p=13267 On today's BradCast: Once again, our plans for Special Coverage of the latest Democratic Presidential Debate is somewhat truncated today to make room for our Special Coverage of impeachment and the new, wildly disturbing evidence released on Tuesday night to go with it. [Audio link to show follows summary below.]

    We're joined today by guests HEATHER DIGBY PARTON of Salon and Digby's Hullabaloo and fellow longtime progressive blogger "DRIFTGLASS" (otherwise known as @Mr_Electrico on Twitter, or "Bill" to a few friends), co-host of the Professional Left Podcast, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this week.

    We start with coverage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to finally transmit the two Articles of Impeachment against Donald John Trump, as approved by the House last year, over to the Senate for just the third Presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history. With the articles, on Wednesday, she also announced the selection of seven House members who will serve as prosecutors (known as House Managers) for the trial. They include House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, and Reps. Hakeem Jeffries of NY, Sylvia Garcia of TX, Val Demings of FL, Jason Crow of CO and Zoe Lofgren of CA.

    Moreover, we discuss the troubling new documentary evidence released late on Tuesday by the House Judiciary Committee from the phone of Lev Parnas, an associate of Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. That material, among other things, reveals a bizarre and creepy 2019 text message thread between Parnas and Republican Connecticut Congressional candidate and Trump superfan, Robert H. Hyde, detailing what appears to be Hyde's surveillance of movements of then U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

    The texts suggest the now-ousted Yovanovitch, who was eventually recalled for her own safety on the next available flight out of the country, may have been targeted, given the content of the conversation, including remarks such as "They are willing to help if we/you would like a price." Ambassador Yovanovitch, an anti-corruption warrior, was described by Trump in his phone conversation with Ukraine's President as "bad news", claiming "she's going to go through some things."

    As if all of that is not enough for one show, we then move on to coverage and analysis of Tuesday night's debate in Des Moines, Iowa, the final Democratic Presidential debate before voting begins in earnest for the 2020 nominating cycle with the Iowa Caucuses on February 3rd. Digby and Driftglass offer insight on all of the candidates who qualified for the debate --- Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer --- and a number of topics discussed on Tuesday night, including the bubbling feud between Sanders and Warren, the many and shifting Democratic positions on the Military/Industrial Complex and our forever wars in the Middle East.

    We also discuss the failures of the debate moderators from CNN and the Des Moines Register, the problem with culling down the field to just 6 candidates before a single vote has even been cast, and whether Tuesday's debate has shifted the fortunes of any of the front-runners before voting finally gets under way next month....

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> https://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=13267 Courts Step in to Protect 'Inactive' Voters in Wisconsin and New York: 'BradCast' 1/14/2020 https://bradblog.com/?p=13266 https://bradblog.com/?p=13266#comments Wed, 15 Jan 2020 01:58:06 +0000 Brad Friedman Election Irregularities California Election Reform Voting System Certification BRAD BLOG Media Appearance New York Rights And Freedoms U.S. Constitution Wisconsin Impeachment U.S. House U.S. Senate Voter Registration Vote Caging Democrats Republicans Los Angeles Vote-by-Mail KPFK News Corp. Climate change Australia BradCast Alex Padilla Election 2020 Dean Logan VSAP https://bradblog.com/?p=13266 On today's BradCast, as we wait for the House to send Donald Trump's Articles of Impeachment to the Senate, and we wait for the Senate to begin his impeachment trial, and we wait for Tuesday's night final Democratic Presidential debate before the Iowa Caucuses, and we wait for primary voting to begin in earnest next month, the fight for voting rights and for the way voters will cast their votes has been long underway, and it cannot wait any longer. [Audio link to complete show is posted below summary.]

    We've got several major court victories today in the fight for voting rights, and a follow-up to yesterday's exclusive revelations of the massive failures discovered in the new, 100% unverifiable touchscreen voting systems set for first-time use in the critical 2020 Presidential election cycle in Los Angeles County, the nation's largest voting jurisdiction.

    First up today, a Wisconsin state courts of appeals panel has stepped in to put a freeze on the massive voter purge of some 200,000 voters, as demanded by a rightwing legal outfit and a state court judge who was apparently willing to do their bidding. A three-judge panel on Wisconsin's District 4 Court of Appeals put the brakes on Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Malloy's order to immediately remove the voters and on his $250/day fine against each of the three Democratic appointees to the state's Elections Commission who oppose the purge.

    The voters who failed to respond to a verification postcard sent by the Commission were disproportionately found to be located in the state's most Democratic-leaning jurisdictions. They had been initially set for removal from the rolls in 2021, until Wisconsin's so-called Institute for Law and Liberty filed suit and found a very friendly judge in Malloy. He recently ordered the immediate removal of the voters, despite opposition from both the Democratic Commissioners and the state's Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul. The ruling by the appellate court to protect as many as 200,000 voters is key in a battleground state said to have been won by Trump by just 23,000 voters in 2016.

    Today's decision in WI somewhat echoes a ruling by a federal judge in New York State late last week, who ordered that voters determined to be "inactive" due to a failure to respond to mailings or bad information from the U.S. Postal Service, must be listed in poll books on Election Day. A failure of so-called "inactive" voters to appear in poll books at state precincts led to chaos and disenfranchised voters during the 2016 election in New York.

    During the course of last year's trial in this matter, it was revealed that both members of the State Board of Elections and New York City Board of Elections found that many voters on the "inactive" list should not have even been on the list in the first place. Federal District Court Judge Alison J. Nathan ruled that State Board of Elections' procedures were in violation of both the U.S. Constitution's 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause and the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.

    Then, we turn to some of the fall-out from the hornets nest we helped kick over on Monday's BradCast, when we detailed major security defects discovered by state certification testers in Los Angeles' new "Voting Solutions for All People" (or VSAP) voting system. The brand-new $300 million system, as we discussed in details on yesterday's program, is yet to be certified for use in California by Sec. of State Alex Padilla, but he is expected to sign off of it despite the massive failures discovered by the analysts that could put the 2020 elections in jeopardy in the nation's largest voting jurisdiction, thanks to the completely unverifiable and highly flawed new touchscreen voting systems.

    Today, we share some of the responses we've received following yesterday's blockbuster show and some of the public comments sent by listeners to the Sec. of State seeking rejection of the new system in favor of hand-marked paper ballots for all voters. Letters must be sent to VotingSystems@sos.ca.gov before the Public Comment period for certification ends this Monday, January 20, at 5pm Pacific Time!

    Finally, we're joined by Desi Doyen for the latest Green News Report, with some news on a family feud and potential climate change shake-up at Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp in the wake of the devastating Australian bushfires that have ravaged the country for weeks; new details on the extraordinary costs of our climate crisis; and the weekly arrests of climate action champion Jane Fonda...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    While we post The BradCast here every day, and you can hear it across all of our great affiliate stations and websites, to automagically get new episodes as soon as they're available sent right to your computer or personal device, subscribe for free at iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn or our native RSS feed!
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    ]]> https://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=13266 'Green News Report' - January 14, 2020 https://bradblog.com/?p=13265 https://bradblog.com/?p=13265#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2020 19:11:35 +0000 Desi Doyen Environment Green News Donald Trump Natural gas Coal Oil Climate change Extreme weather Australia Cory Booker NOAA Election 2020 Pollution Hurricane Dorian https://bradblog.com/?p=13265

    IN TODAY'S RADIO REPORT: 2020 race loses climate justice warrior; Last year, the U.S. saw 14 weather disasters costing a billion dollars or more each; Australia's catastrophic bushfires cause $2 billion in damages; 2019 was the second hottest year ever recorded globally; PLUS: 150 arrested at Jane Fonda's 'Fire Drill Fridays' climate protest... All that and more in today's Green News Report!

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    IN 'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (see links below): 2019 was a record year for ocean temperatures; Make the fossil fuel industry pay the $2 billion Bushfire Recovery Fund; 3 supertrees can protect us from climate collapse. But can we protect them?; Seeking environmental justice in California’s ‘diesel death zones’; U.S. flood risk model to be made publicly available in boon to homebuyers; Emails reveal Trump DOJ working closely with oil industry to stop climate liability lawsuits... PLUS: SSP3: The nightmare climate scenario that keeps scientists up at night... and much, MUCH more! ...

    STORIES DISCUSSED ON TODAY'S 'GREEN NEWS REPORT'...

    'GREEN NEWS EXTRA' (Stuff we didn't have time for in today's audio report)...

    For a comprehensive roundup of daily environmental news you can trust, see the Society of Environmental Journalists' Daily Headlines page


    FOR MORE on Climate Science and Climate Change, go to our Green News Report: Essential Background Page

  • NASA Video: If we don't act, here's what to expect in the next 100 years:

  • ]]>
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    L.A.'s New Unverifiable Touchscreen Voting Systems Fail State Security, Certification Tests: 'BradCast' 1/13/2020 https://bradblog.com/?p=13264 https://bradblog.com/?p=13264#comments Tue, 14 Jan 2020 02:17:20 +0000 Brad Friedman ES&S California BRAD BLOG Voting System Certification BRAD BLOG Media Appearance National Security Iran Paper Ballots Legislation Touch-Screen DREs/BMDs Mainstream Media Failure Dept. of Defense Los Angeles KPFK Donald Trump BradCast Alex Padilla Cory Booker Election 2020 Mark Esper Dean Logan VSAP https://bradblog.com/?p=13264 On today's BradCast, after a necessarily quick news round-up today (on Cory Booker dropping out of the Democratic Presidential nominating contest and the Trump Administration's continuing attempt to lie about about Donald Trump's unlawful assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani), we get on to the most important business of the day --- at least for voters in the state of California, though all across the country as well.

    Brand-new, 100% unverifiable computer touchscreen Ballot Marking Device (BMD) voting systems, which all voters at the polls will be forced to use for the first-time in the 2020 Presidential election in Los Angeles County, beginning with the March 3rd Super Tuesday primary, are currently undergoing the CA state certification process. The $300 million system is failing state security and certification testing miserably, according to documents buried at the CA Sec. of State website, and reported on today's program for the first time.

    In addition to producing a computer-marked ballot that can never be verified as reflecting any voters' intent after an election, documentation of state certification tests of the new "Voting Solutions for All People" system (or VSAP), reveal a myriad of incredibly serious security failures and violations of state law, according to experts we've consulted.

    As we detail on today's program, the testers have discovered, among other very serious concerns, more than 40 violations of California Voting System Standards, including findings that reveal:

    • The VSAP system can be booted from a USB drive that would bypass all security and logging protections and that access to the master account is needed for too many things, meaning that "too many people have access to the root password," according to state testers. That means "The excessive root access and the ability to boot the system from a USB port give access to the system by unauthorized individuals. Either scenario can result in undetected changes to files and data...Both scenarios can allow functions to be executed in non-intended ways. The unrestricted access to, and the ability to boot from, the USB port allows access to voting data";
    • Many problems were discovered with security regarding encryption and cryptography in the new system;
    • The testers discovered "It is possible to insert or remove ballots from both the BMD and ballot transfer boxes without detection";
    • "The printer cover allows access to the ballot box and can be opened without detection";
    • "Seals, locks, labels and sensors can all be bypassed" without detection.

    Those are just some of the many findings that led one national voting system and cybersecurity expert to wryly describe the results to us as "not good" and another to describe the system as "a security fail".

    Nonetheless, CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla could still certify the systems for use in the 2020 primaries and general election anyway, following the passage of a law he championed in 2013 as a State Senator that gives the SoS the ability to approve the use of new voting systems, even if they fail both federal and state testing, for actual elections.

    The very quiet Public Comment period regarding certification of the unverifiable, unsecure VSAP touchscreen computer voting system ends next Monday, Jan. 20, 2020 at 5pm Pacific Time. We are urging those concerned to contact the state at VotingSystems@sos.ca.gov immediately to ask them to not certify this dangerous, unverifiable system, and to require a HAND-MARKED paper ballot for all voters at the polling place in this year's crucial primary and general elections.

    We offer much more frightening detail on all of this on today's program regarding the dangers of this type of voting system as they are proliferating not just in Los Angeles County, but also in key battleground states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and many others before the critical 2020 elections begin in just weeks time!

    We appear to be the only media outlet, to our knowledge, reporting this important information on the failed VSAP tests out of California, so please share widely! We cannot afford to wait until corporate media bother to notice (such as NBC News, which just noticed on Friday a very serious concern about modems in voting systems in several battleground states that we had covered on The BradCast more than six months ago!)...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> https://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=13264 Sunday 'Close Call' Toons https://bradblog.com/?p=13263 https://bradblog.com/?p=13263#comments Sun, 12 Jan 2020 14:05:30 +0000 PDiddie Toons https://bradblog.com/?p=13263

    Pompeo, awaiting the Rapture, pushed Trump to strike Soleimani

    * * *

    Perry Dorrell blogs as PDiddie at Brains and Eggs, usually on topics concerning the strange brew of Texas politics. He's also on Twitter @PDiddie.


    ]]>
    https://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=13263
    The One Thing Voters Can Do to Ensure Trump is Dumped This November: 'BradCast' 1/10/2020 https://bradblog.com/?p=13262 https://bradblog.com/?p=13262#comments Sat, 11 Jan 2020 02:18:37 +0000 Brad Friedman North Carolina BRAD BLOG Media Appearance Photo ID Laws Accountability Dept. of Justice Hillary Clinton Democrats Joe Biden KPFK Donald Trump Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Russia Election 2016 BradCast Tulsi Gabbard Election 2020 Trump Foundation Pete Buttigieg https://bradblog.com/?p=13262 On today's BradCast: There is one neat, simple trick that Democrats and opponents of Donald Trump can do to make sure that he is no more than a one-term President this November. But they may need to start thinking about it right now. JIM WILLIAMS, Issue Polling Specialist at Public Policy Polling, joins us to explain what that one thing is, as based on recent survey data collected by his firm in Arizona and Iowa. [Audio link to show is posted below.]

    Also today, a report by Washington Post reveals that the Department of Justice investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation that Trump demanded after becoming President has yielded...nothing. No criminal charges or anything close to it will reportedly be brought after a review begun by Trump's former Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2017, as assigned to Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber, quietly wrapped up months ago. Even the matter regarding Uranium One, a Canadian company in which a Russian firm was allowed to purchase a controlling stake, reveals no wrongdoing, no bribes paid to the Clinton Foundation while she served as Secretary of State. No nothing.

    In short, between this probe and a recent report by the State Department's Inspector General finding, after a three-year probe, no criminal wrongdoing in Clinton's use of a private email server, it turns out that all of the nonsense that Trump exploited to lead "LOCK HER UP!" chants and his calls for throwing her in jail during his 2016 rallies (and beyond) was entirely B.S. Or, to put it another way, it was all a witch hunt hoax. Who knew? Oh, yeah, we told you as much long ago.

    All of that, even as the disgraced, now-impeached President has seen his own "charitable" foundation ordered shut down by a New York Court, which found a "pattern of illegality" in is fraudulent operations, ordering Trump to pay millions in penalties, and as the Dept. of Justice investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election has resulted in 199 criminal counts against 37 people and entities, seven of whom have pleaded guilty (many of whom were top officials in the Trump Campaign and Trump Administration], with six (so far) sentenced to prison and as many as 10 counts of obstruction of justice by Trump himself.

    The phony "LOCK HER UP!" campaign which arguably resulted in Trump's Presidency was not only made possible, but actually enabled --- shamefully --- by corporate mainstream media which legitimized what was otherwise clearly little more than a bogus, orchestrated hit campaign by Trump and his Rightwing media machine in 2016. We have a word or two to say about all of that on today's program, even as Trump is currently using the same playbook to falsely discredit Joe Biden (and, undoubtedly, whoever else may win the Democratic nomination this year.)

    For some slightly more encouraging news today, we turn to North Carolina, where a federal judge has, once again, shut down the state Republican legislature's latest scheme to enact Photo ID voting restrictions in 2020, finding it an attempt at discriminatory voter suppression. The ruling comes after a different federal judge had found the state GOP's previous scheme to restrict voting (by certain voters) in the very closely divided swing-state to have been written specifically to "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision."

    But with all of that, the Iowa Caucuses are just weeks away now, followed by the New Hampshire primary and many others shortly thereafter. And while polls suggest there is no clear front-runner for the nomination, did we mention PPP's Williams is here to explain what the firm's data show to be an almost certain way to defeat Donald Trump once and for all this November, no matter who Dems choose as their nominee?...

    Download MP3 or listen to complete show online below...
    [See post to listen to audio]

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    ]]> https://bradblog.com/?feed=rss2&p=13262